DHS' Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) First Responders Group (FRG) has developed several overarching programs focusing on research and development of innovative technologies, testing, and assessment of equipment performance, and community engagement through use of social media channels and emergency alerts.
Flood Apex Program
The Flood Apex Program applies new and emerging technologies to improve community resilience from flood disasters. The program aims to reduce flood fatalities and property losses, as well as to enhance community-wide resiliency to disruptive flood events.
Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) Apex Program
NGFR Apex Program is developing tools first responders need to save lives and protect property while staying safe. NGFR is designing new capabilities, adapting existing technology and working to stimulate private sector innovation to ensure the next generation of first responders is protected, connected and fully aware.
NGFR is a five-year program that serves as a launching point for a 20-year strategic initiative by S&T to envision what the responder of the future will look like, what technology they will use, how they will communicate during emergencies, and how they will integrate with the communities they serve.
Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP)
The P25 CAP is a voluntary program that allows P25 land mobile radio (LMR) equipment suppliers to formally demonstrate their products’ compliance with a select group of requirements within the P25 suite of standard.
The purpose of the P25 CAP is to provide emergency response agencies with evidence that the communications equipment they are purchasing meets P25 standards for performance, conformance, and interoperability.
System Assessment and Validation for Emergency Responders (SAVER)
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) established the SAVER Program to assist emergency responders making procurement decisions. Located within the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) the SAVER Program, managed by the National Urban Security Technology Laboratory (NUSTL), conducts operationally oriented assessments and validations on commercial equipment and systems, and provides those results along with other relevant equipment information to the responder community, enabling responders to better select, procure and use emergency response equipment.
Social Media Working Group for Emergency Services and Disaster Management (SMWG)
Social media and collaborative technologies have become critical components of emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. From the international response efforts after major tsunamis to hurricane recovery in major U.S. cities, many government officials now turn to social media technologies to share information and connect with citizens during all phases of a crisis. Implementing these new technologies, however, requires that responding agencies adopt new communication strategies and engagement methods. Recognizing the need to address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) established a virtual social media working group (VSMWG) in 2010.
S&T supports DHS' terrorism prevention mission by conducting applied research, evaluation, and integrating scientifically derived knowledge to inform policy and programs throughout the Homeland Security Enterprise.
Voice, Video, and Data Programs for Public Safety
To support FRG’s mission to provide first responders with the tools and technologies they need, the Voice, Video, and Data Portfolio was established to address how first responders send and receive information. Currently, the majority of communications occurs via land mobile radio (LMR), which has a short communication range and is on commercial cellular networks' vulnerable infrastructure. The Voice, Video, and Data Programs for Public Safety page shares information and resources about the following projects:
- Broadband Demonstration Network – Deployables
- Broadband Demonstration Network – In-Building
- Mission Critical Voice Intelligibility over Long Term Evolution (LTE)
- Video Quality in Public Safety (VQiPS)
- Wearable Alert and Monitoring System (WAMS)
- Chicago Long-Term Evolution (LTE)
Related resource: Voice, Video, and Data Programs for Public Safety Program page